Even if you only have a couple of days in Krakow, you should always fit at least one day, where you get out of the city for a day trip. And there are some incredible day trips from Krakow.  

One of the most popular day trips from Krakow is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Auschwitz-Birkenau or the Salt Mines.  

But there are other things to do on a day trip too. Adventure lovers will enjoy a day of river rafting, or head into the snow-capped mountains just for a day.  

And these day trips are so easy to get to, with the choice of public transport, driving or to book a tour. If you book a tour, you don’t have to worry about the logistics, you just sit back and enjoy the ride.  

As you plan the next few days in Krakow, why not include at least one of these day trips. 

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Day trips from Krakow, Poland 

Whether you’re looking for adventure, learn more about history, or to just get out of the city for a day, then you need to include these awesome day trips from Krakow, into your itinerary. 

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Auschwitz-Birkenau 

Arbeit Macht Frei. Translation ‘work sets you free’.  

This is the first thing you see as you enter Auschwitz-Birkenau. 

History buffs will want to have this at the top of their list of day trips from Krakow. 

Auschwitz-Birkenau is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, that was once a concentration and death camp, during World War II. An estimated 1.1 million people, mainly Jews were killed here. 

Take a guided tour around Auschwitz-Birkenau. Learn more about, who was brought here, what the conditions were like and what happened to the prisoners who were brought here. 

This is definitely one of the most harrowing sites you will see in Krakow. So, while you are here, pay your respects to the millions of people who lost their lives.  

Photography is permitted in most areas of the camp, there will be signs to signify where photography is not allowed. 

Large bags and backpacks are not allowed. Either leave the bag at your accommodation, or you will have to leave any bags in the cloak hut just outside. It is safe and costs a small price of zt10. 

After the tour, head back to the first camp via the free shuttle bus to grab a bite to eat from the small café, that serves a small selection of hot and cold meals and drinks.  

You must book tickets to the camps online and arrive 30 minutes before your allotted time. 

The easiest and most convenient way to get to Auschwitz-Birkenau is by taking a bus from MDA Station in Krakow.  

We purchased this bus ticket from Get your Guide. The bus picked us up from the main bus station in Krakow and took us straight to Auschwitz-Birkenau and back to Krakow, once we had finished our tour.  

Alternatively, you could book one of these tours through Get Your Guide.  

If you have your own vehicle, then there is plenty of car parking and an easy 68km drive from Krakow. 

Written by Bev & Shams Adventures 

Dunajec River Rafting

If you are looking for a scenic day trip from Krakow, the Dunajec river is a great option. It runs through the Pieniny Mountains and for some part is a border between Poland and Slovakia. The best way to explore the river is by taking a river raft.

You can get to the Dunajec river from Krakow by car. It takes a bit more than 2 hours to drive to the starting point of rafting on the Slovakian side of the river. Another option is to go on a guided tour from Krakow, then you won’t have to worry about the logistics.

The Dunajec river rafting is available from April until October. 

Dunajec River Rafting

You can choose different activity levels as well. There are wooden rafts driven by the raft guides. In these, you can relax and enjoy the scenery of the Dunajec river and the summit views of different mountains in the Pieniny Range. Pontoons or kayaks are also available for people who are more active and can get bored easily. 

Dunajec river rafting can be started from the Polish side or from the Slovakian side of the river. A tip is to start the trip from the Slovakian side, as there will be an option to go back to the starting point on a bike along the river. That is an adventure of its own as you get to experience the river route for the second time at your own pace. If you start on the Polish side the only way to get back will be a bus.

Written by Una | Wandernity

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Related post: Travel Guide to Poland

Zakopane

If you want to see the real winter capital of Poland, look no further than Zakopane. It is a perfect place to visit on a day trip from Krakow if you want to experience the Goral culture. Traditional wooden houses, delicious regional food, and plenty of snow will make you fall in love with this winter wonderland.

The best way to get to Zakopane from Krakow is by bus. There are multiple bus companies that you can choose from such as Neobus Polska, MAXBUS ZAKOPANE, or Majer Bus. With over 30 bus routes during the day between Krakow and Zakopane, it is super easy to go on a day trip from Krakow.

Easy day trio from Krakow to Zakopane
Zakopane

Within 2 hours you will find yourself in a charming town, near the Slovakia border with beautiful views of the Tatra Mountains. Make sure, to pack with you, a backpacking camera to take incredible pictures from the top of the Kasprowy Wierch at 1987 m. You will also have incredible views of Zakopane from Gubałówka with an elevation of 1126 m.

Other attractions include exploring Krupowki Street and trying delicious Polish food. Visit in one of the restaurants with a traditional wooden interiors will make your day trip even more magical. Bakowo Zohylina Wyznio is a beautiful rustic restaurant not far from The Great Krokiew in Zakopane.

Written by Paulina | ukeveryday

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Related post: How to Visit Krakow on a Budget + Ways to save

Oswiecim

Located about 67 kilometers west of Poland’s capital of Kraków, Oswiecim is distinctively known for its housing of the first Auschwitz concentration camp. Often toured by thousands of tourists each year, this is a heart-wrenching site to be seen during your visit to Oswiecim.

From Kraków, the site of Auschwitz I can be reached via local bus which is a direct route and takes about 90 minutes each way. But occasionally can take as long as an hour and 45 minutes. You also have the option of accessing the camp via train which is the fastest and takes about 90 minutes exactly. However, if you’re hoping for a direct route, then the bus is your better option. 

For those who prefer to visit less emotionally overwhelming attractions, you have numerous options in Oswiecim! You can have a picnic in Planty Park, explore the Market Square, light a candle in the Chapel of St. Jack, or spend a day wandering the halls of the 4+ different museums they have right in town. 

Auschwitz
Auschwitz

When you’re walking around, be sure to pop into La Rossa Restauracja & Sale Weselne for a bite to eat. All of their dishes are full of fresh ingredients and the service is always superb! Oswiecim makes for a wonderful day trip from Kraków owing to its historical background and unique character. 

If you have more than 24 hours on your next day trip from Kraków, consider visiting Ostrava, Warsaw, or even Prague!

Written by Emily | Emily Embarks

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Wieliczka Salt Mine

Wieliczka Salt Mine, a.k.a the Krakow Salt Mine, is a fun and easy to do day trip from Krakow. As the mines are only ten kilometres outside the city centre, it’s easily accessible by local bus, train, Uber, or a tour.

It’s one of the oldest salt mines in the world –it started in the 13th century and was still in operation until 2007.

It is only possible to visit the Wieliczka Salt Mine nowadays, on a two-hour guided tour.

The Wieliczka Salt Mine is 300 metres deep, with nine different levels and more than 100 miles of tunnels and remains a constant 17-18°C all year round.

Statues made from salt inside the St Kinga’s Chapel.
Statues made from salt inside the St Kinga’s Chapel.

Inside the mine, there are over twenty chapels.

Undoubtedly, the St. Kinga’s Chapel is the highlight of the Wieliczka Salt Mine. The chapel is carved entirely from salt – yes, the walls, the floor, the ceilings, the sculptures and even the chandeliers. The impressive chapel took 67 years to build and is located 100 metres underground. At 54 metres long, 12 metres high and 18 metres wide, it’s the largest underground temple in the world.

The tour ends 135 metres underground. Here you will find toilets, a small restaurant and a shop where you can buy some salt. There’s also a small salt museum you can explore at your leisure.

To return to the surface, you will need to take a tiny, rickety old mine lift that can only accommodate nine people at a time, so there may be a slight queue.

The Wieliczka Salt Mine tour is suitable for people of all ages.

Written by Sarah | Lift Part 2 and Beyond

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Conclusion 

There we have it, some of the best day trips from Krakow. 

We have included a wide variety of things to do. Adventure seekers will love river rafting, history buffs will want to visit Auschwitz and for you families, the Salt Mines are ideal. 

What we love about taking day trips, is that they can be so versatile and easy. You can either drive, take public transport, or take a tour.  

For a more laidback approach, a tour is definitely a winner. All you have to do, is book your tickets, arrive at the meeting point and the tour guide will do the rest. 

If you are spending at least 4 days or more in Krakow, then you could easily do more than one day trip.  

What we love about Krakow, is that it is such a cheap getaway, that we can’t wait to get back there and discover a new day trip. 

Which day trip will you choose? Have you done any of these day trips? Is there a day trip from Krakow that you did, but we have included? Is there somewhere you have always wanted to visit but not yet been? Let us know, by leaving a comment below. 

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Best Day Trips from Krakow
Best Day Trips from Krakow
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2 Comments

  1. Dunajec looks beautiful, and wooden river rafting sounds like a fun summer activity! But visiting Zakopane in the winter seems magical! I hope to get to Poland one day as my grandfather was Polish. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yes they all sound like an amazing experience. We didn’t make it to Dunajec or Zakopane, but we did get to Auschwitz-Birkenau, which was so sad. All the more reason to visit Krakow if your grandfather was Polish, it’s so inexpensive to visit too. Let us know how you get on, when you do make it to Poland

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